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Love Machine

By KB Brookins

after The Miracles

All this time I thought we needed permission
to dance. Flap our imaginary wings. Schlep
sweat on our foreheads while making up moves
in every dance scene. My people are good at
dreaming up new grooves in the time it takes
one foot to pick itself up on the soul train.
We are love machines, unable to work for anybody
but rhythm, its everyday insistence on giving us
hope. No wonder why we can see a world without
police. Every day we smash badges under our busy
-good feet. We were made to see everything
beautiful before it hops & skips out of us.




Listen as KB Brookins readsLove Machine.”

Added: Friday, June 9, 2023  /  Used with permission. This poem originally appears in KB Brookins' book "Freedom House," published by Deep Vellum Publishing.
KB Brookins
Photo by @manuel89tx.

KB Brookins is a Black, queer, and trans writer, cultural worker, and artist from Texas. They authored How to Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press 2022), winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature; and Freedom House (Deep Vellum 2023), recommended by Vogue and Autostraddle among others. KB’s writing is published in, HuffPost, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. They are a 2023 National Endowment of the Arts fellow. KB’s memoir Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf) releases in 2024. Follow them online at @earthtokb on Twitter and Instagram.

Image Description: KB, a Black person with brown skin and blond locs holds a microphone and reads from their book “How To Identify Yourself With a Wound.” They are wearing a colorful short-sleeved button-up shirt with illustrations of musical instruments, round-framed glasses, and a silver septum nose piercing.

Other poems by this author